A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth primarily used as a political propaganda technique.[1][2] The German expression was first used by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf (1925) to describe how people could be induced to believe so colossal a lie because they would not believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". Hitler claimed that the technique had been used by Jews to blame Germany's loss in World War I on German general Erich Ludendorff, who was a prominent nationalist political leader in the Weimar Republic.

Adolf Hitler in the early 1920s, about the time he began writing Mein Kampf (1925)

According to historian Jeffrey Herf, the Nazis used the idea of the original big lie to turn sentiment against Jews and justify the Holocaust. Herf maintains that Nazi Germany's chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party actually used the big lie technique that they described – and that they used it to turn long-standing antisemitism in Europe into mass murder. Herf further argues that the Nazis' big lie was their depiction of Germany as an innocent, besieged nation striking back at "international Jewry", which the Nazis blamed for starting World War I. Nazi propaganda repeatedly claimed that Jews held outsized and secret power in Britain, Russia, and the United States. It further spread claims that the Jews had begun a war of extermination against Germany, and used these to assert that Germany had a right to annihilate the Jews in self-defense.

In the 21st century, the term has been applied to attempts to overturn the result of the 2020 U.S. presidential election by Donald Trump and his allies, specifically the false claim that the election was stolen through massive voter and electoral fraud. The scale of the claims resulted in Trump supporters attacking the United States Capitol.[3][4] Later reports indicate that Trump knew he had genuinely lost the election while promoting the narrative.[5][6][7][8]

Scholars say that constant repetition across many different forms of media is necessary for the success of the big lie technique, as is a psychological motivation for the public to believe the extreme assertions.

Hitler's description

 
Hitler claimed that Jews had spread the "big lie" that General Erich Ludendorff was responsible for the country's loss in World War I.

Hitler's definition is given in Chapter 10 of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (part of a single paragraph in both the German original and James Murphy's translation):

But it remained for the Jews, with their unqualified capacity for falsehood, and their fighting comrades, the Marxists, to impute responsibility for the downfall precisely to the man who alone had shown a superhuman will and energy in his effort to prevent the catastrophe which he had foreseen and to save the nation from that hour of complete overthrow and shame. By placing responsibility for the loss of the world war on the shoulders of Ludendorff they took away the weapon of moral right from the only adversary dangerous enough to be likely to succeed in bringing the betrayers of the Fatherland to Justice.

All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true within itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.

It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

— Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, vol. I, ch. X[9]

In 1943, The New York Times contributor Edwin James asserted that Hitler's biggest lie was his revisionist claim that Germany was not defeated in war in 1918, but rather was betrayed by internal groups.[10] This stab-in-the-back myth was spread by right-wing groups, including the Nazis.[11]

In enacting the Holocaust

According to historian Jeffrey Herf, the Nazis used the idea of the original big lie to turn sentiment against Jews and justify the Holocaust. Herf maintains that Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party actually used the big lie technique that they described – and that they used it to turn long-standing antisemitism in Europe into mass murder.[12] Herf further argues that the Nazis' big lie was their depiction of Germany as an innocent, besieged land striking back at international Jewry, which the Nazis blamed for starting World War I. Nazi propaganda repeatedly claimed that Jews held power behind the scenes in Britain, Russia, and the United States. It further spread claims that the Jews had begun a war of extermination against Germany, and used these to assert that Germany had a right to annihilate the Jews in self-defense.[13]

The Cold War historian Zachary Jonathan Jacobson describes its use:[14]

Adolf Hitler first defined the Big Lie as a deviant tool wielded by Viennese Jews to discredit the Germans' deportment in World War I. Yet, in tragically ironic fashion, it was Hitler and his Nazi regime that actually employed the mendacious strategy. In an effort to rewrite history and blame European Jews for Germany's defeat in World War I, Hitler and his propaganda minister accused them of profiting from the war, consorting with foreign powers and "war shirking" (avoiding conscription). Jews, Hitler contended, were the weak underbelly of the Weimer state that exposed the loyal and true German population to catastrophic collapse. To sell this narrative, Joseph Goebbels insisted "all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands."

In short, Nazi fascism hinged on creating one streamlined, overarching lie ... the Nazis built an ideology on a fiction, the notion that Germany's defeat in World War I could be avenged (and reversed) by purging the German population of those purportedly responsible: the Jews.

Goebbels's description

 
Joseph Goebbels, the head of Nazi Germany's Ministry of Propaganda

Joseph Goebbels also put forth a theory which has come to be commonly associated with the expression "big lie". Goebbels wrote the following paragraph in an article dated 12 January 1941, sixteen years after Hitler first used the phrase. The article, titled "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik" (English: "From Churchill's Lie Factory") was published in Die Zeit ohne Beispiel:

The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.[15]

Alleged quotation

The following supposed quotation of Joseph Goebbels has been repeated in numerous books and articles and on thousands of web pages, yet none of them has cited a primary source. According to the research and reasoning of Randall Bytwerk, it is an unlikely thing for Goebbels to have said:[16]

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.

U.S. psychological profile of Hitler

The phrase "big lie" was used in a report prepared around 1943[17] by Walter C. Langer for the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler's psychological profile. The report was later published in book form as The Mind of Adolf Hitler in 1972. Langer stated of the dictator:

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.[18]

A somewhat similar quote appears in the 1943 Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler: With Predictions of His Future Behaviour and Suggestions for Dealing with Him Now and After Germany's Surrender, by Henry A. Murray:

... never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.[19]

Hitler's death

A 1947 U.S. book on the death of Adolf Hitler describes the infectious Soviet disinformation concerning his purported survival as an example of the technique, nodding to German philosopher Hans Vaihinger's 1911 book The Philosophy of 'As if', which ponders the acceptance of lies for utilitarian purposes. The U.S. book asserts that Soviet leadership, "realizing that Communist totalitarian systems and secret police methods require a continuing menace as justification for their existence, decided to keep the ghost of Hitler alive ... as a means of dramatizing the continuing menace of Fascism", bolstering their military.[20]

In his controversial 1968 book, Soviet historian Lev Bezymenski cites the initial announcement of Hitler's death by Nazi Germany as an example of the big lie, as it claimed him to have died while acting as a soldier in the line of duty.[21]

Other uses

Cold War era

Some U.S. Government officials believed that the technique continued to be employed by antisemitic conspiracy theorists in the decades after World War II. In their 1964 report on a fabricated antisemitic text first published in Russia in 1903, the members of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee stated their belief that "peddlers" of the debunked pamphlet made use of "the Hitler technique of the 'big lie'" not only as a means of promoting antisemitic canards, but also to exploit American fears of Communist influence.[22]

Donald Trump's lies of a stolen election

 
Donald Trump
 
According to CNN fact checker Daniel Dale, as of June 9, 2021, former president Donald Trump had issued 132 written statements since leaving office, of which "a third have included lies about the election" – more than any other subject.[23]

During his political career, former U.S. president Donald Trump has employed what have been characterized as the firehose of falsehood[24] and big lie[25] propaganda techniques. To support his attempts to overturn the 2020 U.S. presidential election, he and his allies repeatedly and falsely claimed that there had been massive election fraud and that Trump was the true winner of the election.[11][3] By 2023, major news outlets characterized Trump's claims as not merely falsehoods, but as lies.[26][27][28]

U.S. Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz subsequently contested the election results in the Senate.[29] Their effort was characterized as "the big lie" by then President-elect Joe Biden: "I think the American public has a real good, clear look at who they are. They're part of the big lie, the big lie."[25] Republican senators Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey, scholars of fascism Timothy Snyder and Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Russian affairs expert Fiona Hill, and others also used the term "big lie" to refer to Trump's false claims about massive election fraud.[30] By May 2021, many Republicans had come to embrace the false claim and use it as justification to impose new voting restrictions and attempt to take control of the administrative management of elections.[31] Republicans who opposed the claims faced backlash.[32]

In early 2021, The New York Times examined Trump's promotion of "the big lie" for political purposes to subvert the 2020 election, and concluded that the lie encouraged the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.[4][33] The attack was cited in a resolution to impeach Trump for a second time.[34] During Trump's second impeachment trial, the house managers Jamie Raskin, Joe Neguse, Joaquin Castro, Stacey Plaskett and Madeleine Dean discussed how Trump used "the big lie" to repeatedly make the false claim the election was stolen from him.[35][36] On October 7, the Senate Judiciary Committee released new testimony and a staff report according to which "we were only a half-step away from a full blown constitutional crisis as President Donald Trump and his loyalists threatened a wholesale takeover of the Department of Justice (DOJ). They also reveal how former Acting Civil Division Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark became Trump's Big Lie Lawyer, pressuring his colleagues in DOJ to force an overturn of the 2020 election."[37]

In early 2022, The New York Times presented a detailed analysis of the continuing efforts by Trump and his allies to further promote "the big lie" and related lies in their attempts to overturn and influence future elections, including those in 2022 and 2024.[38][39] On June 13, 2022, the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack presented testimony that Trump knew he lost the 2020 election, but nevertheless, promoted the false claim to exploit donors, and, as a result, raked in "half a billion" dollars.[40][41] In the days following his first indictment on March 30, 2023; he repeatedly posted similar election-related commentary to social media.[42]

Dominion Voting Systems, which provided voting machines to many jurisdictions in the 2020 U.S. elections, filed two major lawsuits. From Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Dominion seeks $1.3 billion in damages, alleging that "he and his allies manufactured and disseminated the 'Big Lie', which foreseeably went viral and deceived millions of people into believing that Dominion had stolen their votes and fixed the election."[43] Separately, in Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News Network it sought $1.6 billion from Fox News.[44] During discovery, Fox News' internal communications were released, indicating that prominent hosts and top executives were aware the network was reporting false statements but continued doing so to retain viewers for financial reasons. On April 18, 2023, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion a $787.5 million settlement, described by CNN as the "big price" of telling "the Big Lie".[45] Dominion is also suing two other TV networks, Newsmax and the One America News Network, for $1.6 billion each, as well as My Pillow and its CEO Mike Lindell for $1.2 billion.[46]

On April 25, 2023, CNN reported that Trump had told a new lie about the 2020 election: "Trump pointedly noted that Biden got more votes than Trump in fewer than a fifth of US counties in 2020. Trump then said, 'Nothing like this has ever happened before. Usually, it's very equal, or – but the winner always had the most counties.'" The statement was described as "complete bunk". Both "Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, carried a minority of counties in each of their victories." William H. Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explained:

There is nothing suspicious about winning the presidency with a smaller number of counties. Counties vary widely in size, with large urban and suburban counties – areas where Biden did best – housing far larger populations than most of the outer suburb, small town and rural counties that Trump won.[47]

On July 28, 2023, a federal district court judge dismissed an October 2022 Trump lawsuit against CNN, stating that CNN's multiple uses of the term "big lie" about Trump's claims of election fraud did not constitute actionable defamation.[48] The judge wrote that CNN's statements were opinion, not factually verifiable statements, and that "no reasonable viewer" would infer that "Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews or any other group of people". The suit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning Trump could not sue again on the same basis.[48]

21st-century use by American conservatives

The term has been used by prominent American right-wing figures to describe allegations that Trump's victory in the 2016 elections was the result of alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia. Former Attorney General William Barr described those allegations as "a very damaging, big lie" that inhibited the administration's ability to properly deal with Putin,[49] a sentiment also echoed by Newt Gingrich.[50]

By early 2021, Trump and several prominent Republicans tried to appropriate the term "the big lie", claiming that it refers to other electoral issues.[51] Trump stated that the term refers to the "Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020".[52] An opinion piece in the typically conservative Wall Street Journal,[53] as well as Republican politicians Mitch McConnell and Newt Gingrich, referred to "the big lie" as Democratic opposition to what were new and more restrictive voter identification requirements.[51] McConnell's office referred to a Democratic attempt to abolish the filibuster to enact voting rights legislation as "the left's Big Lie [that] there is some evil anti-voting conspiracy sweeping America".[54] Timothy Snyder observes:

The lie is so big that it reorders the world. And so part of telling the big lie is that you immediately say it's the other side that tells the big lie. Sadly, but it's just a matter of record, all of that is in Mein Kampf.[55]

By January 2022, Republicans were taking actions to impose new voting restrictions and to take complete control of voting and the administrative management of elections, all while a large majority of Republicans continued to believe that the 2020 election had been stolen from them and asserted that democracy was at risk of failing. Extensive press coverage indicated the Republican efforts themselves appeared to present a threat to democracy.[56]

China

The Government of China has falsely denied committing human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, and has labelled declarations of Uyghur genocide as a "big lie" perpetrated by hostile forces.[57][58][59]

Russo-Ukrainian War

Andrew Wilson of the European Council on Foreign Relations described the Russian invasion of Ukraine as "the War of the Big Lie. The Lie that Ukraine doesn't exist. The Lie that Ukraine has no right to full sovereignty because it is a puppet state of the West. The Lie that A invaded B because C is to blame – the West, the expansion of NATO, the USA's global hegemony."[60]

Analysis

Psychologists, psychiatrists and others have explained why the big lie technique works. Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and professor of psychology who is an expert on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse says that:

Repetition is important, because the Big Lie works through indoctrination. The Big Lie then becomes its own evidence base – if it is repeated enough, people believe it, and the very repetition almost tautologically becomes the support for the Lie. ... Hear something enough it becomes truth. People assume there is an evidence base when the lie is big (it's like a blind spot). ... [People also fail to realize] that there are people in our midst that lack empathy, have no care for the common good, are grandiose, arrogant, and willing to exploit and manipulate people for solely their own egocentric needs. ... [Instead] a sort of halo effect imbues leaders with presumed expertise and power – when that is not at all the case (most if not all megalomaniacal leaders, despots, tyrants, oligarchs share narcissism/psychopathy as a trait).[61]

The importance of repetition in the acceptance of the big lie is stressed by Miriam Bowers-Abbott, an associate professor of logic at Mount Carmel College of Nursing, who states: "What's especially helpful is repetition in a variety of contexts. That is, not just the same words over and over – but integration of an idea in lots of ways. It builds its own little web of support." Such repetition can occur in the physical environment, according to Dr. Matt Blanchard, a clinical psychologist at New York University, who states: "Nothing sells the Big Lie like novelty t-shirts, hats and banners. These items are normally associated with sports teams, not life-and-death political issues. But Trump and his circle have deftly used these items to generate the kind of unbridled loyalty Americans associate with pro football. ... The banners and hats crucially add an air of silliness to everything. If I can buy a novelty hat about it, can it really be so serious? ... It's a genius mindf**k."[61]

Blanchard also notes that people assess information that has a direct impact on their lives differently than more abstract information with less proximity to them. He states that "the act of 'believing' is not just one thing that humans do. Instead, this one word represents a wide range of relationships that humans have with information. We don't truly 'believe' things, so much as provisionally accept information we find useful." Because of this, he states that "most people don't whole-heartedly 'believe' the Big Lie, but they are more than happy to provisionally accept it because... why not? It might be entertaining. It might flatter your identity. It might help you bond with other people in your community. Or it might help you vent some rage. ... '[B]elief' is always predicated on usefulness."[61]

Psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee notes that emotional reasons lie beneath the acceptance of outrageous assertions such as the big lie, stating:

Usually, they are trying to find comfort and to avoid pain. ... This happens in states of lesser health, where one is less inclined to venture into new domains or to seek creative solutions. There is comfort in repetition, and so a people or a nation under duress will gravitate more toward what is repeated to them than what is realistic. Adolf Hitler understood this very well, which is why the American psychologist Walter Langer coined the phrase to describe his method.[61]

Social media also plays a role in such emotional responses, according to Bowers-Abbott, who states:

It was easier to dislodge untruths before social media. In social media, people tend to take public positions. When that position turns out to be wrong, it's embarrassing. And backing down is typically seen as weakness. So they double-down on untrue claims to save face and personal credibility. ... We are way too emotionally attached to being right. It would be better for our culture as a whole to value uncertainty and intellectual humility and curiosity. Those values help us ask questions without the expectation of permanent answers.[61]

Durvasula, Blanchard and Lee agree that it is unlikely that a believer in a big lie can be persuaded through the presentation of factual evidence. Durvasula argues that improvement in critical thinking skills is necessary, stating: "It means ending algorithms that only provide confirmatory news and instead people seeing stories and information that provide other points of view ... creating safe spaces to have these conversations ... encouraging civil discourse with those who hold different opinions, teaching people to find common ground (e.g. love of family) even when belief systems are not aligned." Blanchard says that "[S]preaders of the Big Lie will only be discredited in the eyes of their supporters if they face their greatest fear – accountability. ... They must be seen to lose at the ballot box, they must be arrested when they break the law, they must be sued for every defamation, they must be pursued with every legal tool available in an open society. ... Above all else they must be seen as weak. Only then will their lies lose their usefulness for the millions who once saw something to gain – personally, psychologically, politically, financially – in choosing to believe." Lee notes that it is important when attempting to disabuse someone of a big lie, it is important not to put them on the defensive: "You have to fix the underlying emotional vulnerability that led people to believing it in the first place. For populations, it is usually the pain of not having a place in the world, which socioeconomic inequality exacerbates. Deprivation of health care, education, an ability to make a living, and other avenues for dignity can make a population psychologically vulnerable to those who look to exploit them."[61]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ "The Big Lie | Definition of The Big Lie by Oxford Dictionary on Lexico.com also meaning of The Big Lie". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on 22 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Definition of Big Lie". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 13 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b Higgins, Andrew (10 January 2021). "The Art of the Lie? The Bigger the Better – Lying as a political tool is hardly new. But a readiness, even enthusiasm, to be deceived has become a driving force in politics around the world, most recently in the United States". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 January 2021. Mr. Trump has outraged his political opponents and left even some of his longtime supporters shaking their heads at his mendacity. In embracing this big lie, however, the president has taken a path that often works – at least in countries without robustly independent legal systems and news media along with other reality checks.
  4. ^ a b Rutenberg, Jim; Becker, Jo; Lipton, Eric; Haberman, Maggie; Martin, Jonathan; Rosenberg, Matthew; Schmidt, Michael S. (31 January 2021). "77 Days: Trump's Campaign to Subvert the Election – Hours after the United States voted, the president declared the election a fraud – a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Trump Knew He Lost The Election Before He Decided He Didn't, Says Aide". HuffPost. 20 June 2022.
  6. ^ Mike DeBonis and Jacqueline Alemany (28 June 2022). "Trump sought to lead armed mob to Capitol on Jan. 6, aide says". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Harb, Ali; Glasse, Jennifer (12 July 2022). "Jan 6 panel pushes to link Trump to Capitol violence – a timeline". www.aljazeera.com.
  8. ^ "What Trump Knew". Time.
  9. ^ Hitler, Adolf (21 March 1939). Mein Kampf. Translated by Murphy, James. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2008 – via Project Gutenberg.
  10. ^ James, Edwin L. (11 April 1943). "Hitler's Biggest Lie; The Fuehrer's lies are legion and colossal; his biggest is that Germany was not beaten in 1918. Hitler may be planning to use that lie again. Whatever Hitler's purpose in taking up the lie of an undefeated Germany, the record of the collapse is clear. Hitler's Biggest Lie". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  11. ^ a b Bittner, Jochen (30 November 2020). "1918 Germany Has a Warning for America – Donald Trump's "Stop the Steal" campaign recalls one of the most disastrous political lies of the 20th century". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  12. ^ Herf, Jeffrey (2006). The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II And the Holocaust. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0674038592.
  13. ^ Herf, Jeffrey (2005). "The "Jewish War": Goebbels and the Antisemitic Campaigns of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry". Holocaust and Genocide Studies. 19: 51–80. doi:10.1093/hgs/dci003.
  14. ^ Jacobson, Zachary Jonathan (21 May 2018). "Many are worried about the return of the 'Big Lie.' They're worried about the wrong thing". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ Goebbels, Joseph (12 January 1941). Die Zeit ohne Beispiel. Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP. pp. 364–369. Das ist natürlich für die Betroffenen mehr als peinlich. Man soll im allgemeinen seine Führungsgeheimnisse nicht verraten, zumal man nicht weiß, ob und wann man sie noch einmal gut gebrauchen kann. Das haupt-sächlichste englische Führungsgeheimnis ist nun nicht so sehr in einer besonders hervorstechenden Intelligenz als vielmehr in einer manchmal geradezu penetrant wirkenden dummdreisten Dickfelligkeit zu finden. Die Engländer gehen nach dem Prinzip vor, wenn du lügst, dann lüge gründlich, und vor allem bleibe bei dem, was du gelogen hast! Sie bleiben also bei ihren Schwindeleien, selbst auf die Gefahr hin, sich damit lächerlich zu machen.
  16. ^ Bytwerk, Randall (2008). "False Nazi Quotations". German Propaganda Archive. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  17. ^ Hitler and Psychohistory Hans W. Gatzke, The American Historical Review, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Apr., 1973), pp. 394–401.
  18. ^ Langer, Walter C. "A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler" (PDF). CIA.gov. p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Analysis of the Personality of Adolf Hitler" (PDF). Office of Strategic Services. p. 219. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 17 January 2018 – via archive.org.
  20. ^ Moore, Herbert; Barrett, James W., eds. (1947). Who Killed Hitler?. W. F. Heimlich (foreword). New York: The Booktab Press. pp. 131, 136, 138. So well has the plan worked that few people can now be found anywhere who are convinced that Hitler is dead. It is one more example of the fine art of falsehood and half-truth which the Germans under Goebbels perfected with such bewildering success. It is still another example of the dependable results that can be obtained by psychological strategists in totalitarian countries who can at will use the technique of the notorious 'Philosophy of the As If' in spreading gigantic lies. By such techniques, they are able to influence vast numbers of people to disbelieve the truth long after the facts and circumstances have been authenticated.
  21. ^ Bezymenski, Lev (1968). The Death of Adolf Hitler (1st ed.). New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. pp. 68–69.
  22. ^ Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A Fabricated 'historic' Document (Report). U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act. 1964. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  23. ^ Dale, Daniel (12 June 2021). "Trump is doing more lying about the election than talking about any other subject". CNN. Archived from the original on 16 June 2021. Similar graphic in source attributed to Janie Boschma, CNN.
  24. ^ Multiple sources:
  25. ^ a b Block, Melissa (16 January 2021). "Can The Forces Unleashed By Trump's Big Election Lie Be Undone?". NPR. Retrieved 3 March 2021.
  26. ^ Yoon, Robert (27 August 2023). "Trump's drumbeat of lies about the 2020 election keeps getting louder. Here are the facts". Associated Press.
  27. ^ Qiu, Linda (17 August 2023). "Fact-Checking the Breadth of Trump's Election Lies". The New York Times.
  28. ^ Dale, Daniel (3 August 2023). "21 Donald Trump election lies listed in his new indictment". CNN.
  29. ^ Levine, Marianne; Otterbeing, Holly; Everett, Burgess (9 January 2021). "Election gambit blows up on Hawley and Cruz". Politico. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  30. ^ Multiple sources:
  31. ^ Multiple sources:
  32. ^ Woodward, Calvin (9 May 2021). "Trump's 'Big Lie' imperils Republicans who don't embrace it". Associated Press. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  33. ^ Rosenberg, Matthew; Rutenberg, Jim (1 February 2021). "Key Takeaways From Trump's Effort to Overturn the Election – A Times examination of the 77 days between election and inauguration shows how a lie the former president had been grooming for years overwhelmed the Republican Party and stoked the assault on the Capitol". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  34. ^ Naylor, Brian (11 January 2021). "Impeachment Resolution Cites Trump's 'Incitement' Of Capitol Insurrection". NPR. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  35. ^ "February 10, 2021 – Issue: Vol. 167, No. 25 – Daily Edition". Congressional Record. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  36. ^ Thrush, Glenn (10 February 2021). "Prosecutors describe Trump's 'Big Lie' of a stolen election". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  37. ^ "Following 8 Month Investigation, Senate Judiciary Committee Releases Report on Donald Trump's Scheme to Pressure DOJ & Overturn the 2020 Election". United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. 7 October 2021. Archived from the original on 7 October 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  38. ^ Corasaniti, Nick; Yourish, Karen; Collins, Keith (22 May 2022). "How Trump's 2020 Election Lies – Have Gripped State Legislatures". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  39. ^ Edelman, Adam (22 May 2022). "Election deniers who say Trump won in 2020 are running to be top cop in 4 battleground states – At least 15 people who push false claims about the 2020 results are running for attorney general in 14 states, including four swing states, according to a group tracking the races". NBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  40. ^ Pagliery, Jose (13 June 2022). "Jan. 6 Hearing Bombshells: Trump Knew He Lost – and Profited – HE KNEW". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  41. ^ Markay, Lachlan (3 December 2020). "Election Lies Help Trump and RNC Rake in Half a Billion – BIG $$$". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  42. ^ Price, Michelle L.; Riccardi, Nicholas (10 April 2023). "Trump's Response To Criminal Charges Revives Election Lies". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 April 2023.
  43. ^ Wolfe, Jan; Heavey, Susan (25 January 2021). "Trump lawyer Giuliani faces $1.3 billion lawsuit over 'big lie' election fraud claims". Reuters. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  44. ^ Folkenflik, David; Romo, Vanessa (18 May 2021). "Fox News Moves To Have Dominion Voting Systems Lawsuit Dismissed". NPR. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  45. ^ Darcy, Oliver (19 April 2023). "With historic settlement, Rupert Murdoch is paying the price for Trump's election lies". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  46. ^ Ivanova, Irina (19 April 2023). "This private equity firm is the biggest winner in the Dominion-Fox News settlement". CBS News. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  47. ^ Dale, Daniel (25 April 2023). "Fact check: Trump, in 2023, tells a new lie about the 2020 election". CNN. Retrieved 25 April 2023.
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Further reading

  • Baker White, John (1955). The Big Lie. London: Evans Brothers. OCLC 874233110.